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DWP Recruits Staff To Reduce ESA And PIP Appeal Success Rates

March 22, 2016

The DWP has been given £22 million to recruit presenting officers in an effort to reduce the number of claimants winning their personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA) appeals.

The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) “Economic and Fiscal Outlook” document lists the following amount:

“£22 million to DWP to recruit presenting officers across 2016-17 to 2017-18 to support the department in personal independent payments and employment and support allowance tribunals.”

Buzzfeed is reporting that the money will pay for 180 new presenting officers.

The number of PIP appeals is expected to skyrocket over the coming two years as the forced move from DLA to PIP takes place.

In addition, the proportion of successful PIP appeals has increased with every quarter since the benefit was introduced. PIP claimants won in 60% of cases from July to September 2015, up from 56% in the previous quarter.

58% of ESA cases are also won by the claimant.

The DWP is also concerned by the way that tribunal judges have been interpreting the very badly drafted PIP legislation in favour of claimants. In particular, the widening of what counts as aids and appliances for PIP activities by judges is what led to the disastrous attempt to change the point scores for PIP.

In theory, presenting officers should act a s a ‘friend of the court’, helping judges to reach a fair decision. In reality, they will be sent by the DWP to try to discredit claimants and argue as forcibly as possible for the DWP’s interpretation of the law to be accepted.

Attending an appeal tribunal is likely to be an even more gruelling process for claimants over the next few years.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2016 7:25 pm

    Reblogged this on campertess.

  2. stephane rezzoug permalink
    March 22, 2016 9:23 pm

    why are do they keep going and going this policy when they know they said they are going to abandon this policy of getting rid PIP because of the people revolt in their own party as well as other party’s and the public

  3. Kevin Clayton permalink
    March 22, 2016 10:13 pm

    I have been awarded the enhanced rate for both daily living and mobility at tribunal.I used to get the enhanced rate for mobility and standard rate for daily living but they reduced my mobility to standard rate in Dec 2015.I have always been on the standard rate daily living since 2014 but the tribunal increased them both to enhanced and back dated it until 2014.Do you know if I get the back dated benefit payment.
    Many Thanks,
    Kevin Clayton

    • Julie permalink
      March 23, 2016 4:00 am

      You should get it back dated, if you had DLA before then the back date is too 4 weeks from date new award allocated. The four week wait is supposed to reflect upto 4 weeks extra run on DLA for those who failed the assessment. In reality its a con trick to deny you 4 weeks of your new benefit

  4. Rob permalink
    March 22, 2016 10:45 pm

    Don’t worry a PO attending cannot change the nature of a Tribunal. The jurisdiction is inquisitorial, and the role of the PO is always primarily to act as a friend of the court. Its a good idea for the claimant to be represented, not so much for adversarial purposes, but to understand social security law which is very complex. Its obscure to the point of darkness.

  5. Neil permalink
    March 23, 2016 11:24 am

    If the tribunal puts too much weight on these officers opinions it will open the case to an upper tribunal on the basis of bias against the claimant?

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